I have spent several hundred hours of my life at marching practice. Odds are, I've spent several thousand at practice, games, and other band-related events combined. Quite literally, for many in the senior class, we have put our blood, sweat, and tears into working and making the best show possible. We want to go to contest, get a good rating, and be able to say we did something. Because for us, this isn't just a year of marching practice and experience refined until it looks decent. This is every year, every step we've ever taken on that damned football field or off, all concentrated and directed at doing what we have to do - what we like doing, whether we admit it or not, because you'd really have to be crazy to stick around for all the band crap if you don't like it on some subconscious level.
This is a chapter of my life that is ending. I said today that band is like one big happy family... well, one big, happy, dysfunctional, slightly incestuous family...
And as weird as it sounds, that can be very true. A bunch of freshmen have reffered to me as 'mom' or an older sister... hell, Chase once said I was the big sister he never had (I suspect he was thinking: "thank god!", but we'll ignore that). These are the people who have seen you at your worst in the early mornings before school on those days when you look like shit and you feel it. These are the people who have seen you when you're hot and sweaty because it's a hundred and two degrees in the shade and you've been running around during practice. These are the people who've seen you tearing out your hair because you didn't have quite enough time to finish your homework after that Thursday game. They've seen you all spiffied up and sparkly at formals, they've seen you eat and laugh and cry and probably be sick, they've seen you at your funniest moments and odds are they have seen (and poked fun at you) when you made a total ass of yourself. They've seen the "go band!" days and the "fuck band!" days. They've been there for absolutely horrible songs on the bus ride home, they've probably seen fights with friends, depression, romance, and complete happiness, if you've had a busy enough life to experience all those.
Whether you get along with them or not, and whether you want them to be or not, they are your family. You can't choose your relatives, as they say. I see the band parents more often than I see my real parents. I see any of the freshmen more often than I see my youngest sister. This strange, eccentric collection of oddballs contains the few people who could make me laugh or cry at whim if they wished; it contains people I want to throttle and it contains people I would die to protect.
After marching ends, we go back to our lives, such as they are. We're not bound by practices after school and sectionals when we thought we were free. There's no hanging around the water coolers during breaks, no waterfights when we have just a little too much energy, no ranting and raving over how this line should be a curve instead. There's just... freedom. And it's always a little weird at first. We don't have to see each other every day. Hell, weeks might pass without seeing a drum major, if you're in the second band. And in some ways we lose that sense of being a family.
I think I'm gonna miss it.
yeah, I think I will.